No-interest loans could help Tasmania improve energy efficiency

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The Tasmanian Government is set to offer no-interest loans to all households and small businesses to improve their energy efficiency, and has already set aside $10 million to fund the scheme.

Energy Minister Matthew Groom has not confirmed details of the plan. But the ABC has reported Mr Groom will announce interest-free loans of up to $4000 for households and up to $10,000 for small businesses later this year.

Unlike a current Aurora Energy no-interest loans scheme that is restricted to low-income earners, any energy customer in Tasmania would be eligible to apply for a loan regardless of earnings.

The ABC understands the loans would be offered to Aurora customers without interest for a period of five years, with the money flowing from a $10 million fund set up in the May state budget about which the government has so far been coy.

This financial year and last, Aurora Energy and the State Government-funded No Interest Loans Network of Tasmania have been offering a loan and subsidy package to low-income earners to help with the purchase of new energy efficient appliances.

The grant and loan package is capped at $3000 per customer.

Mr Groom said the Aurora Energy Scheme, which was used by 379 customers in the last financial year, was helping customers struggling with power bills, which he pointed out had dropped by 2 per cent since the 2014 state election.